Thursday, December 1, 2016
Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,
2016 has become well known as the year of the sporting upset.
The upsets range from the Hurricanes winning the Super Rugby competition– not really an upset but it was the first time that they had won, to such unheard of results as Iceland beating England at football and Eire beating New Zealand at rugby (the first time in 111 years).
Some of the upset results were again the first time something had happened like Leicester City winning the English Premier league after 118 years of trying or the Cleveland Cavaliers winning the NBA after 46 years of trying or even the Cronulla Sharks (Cronulla Sutherland) winning the NRL after 108 years.
But in many ways the biggest upset was the Chicago Bulls winning Major league basketball after a drought of 108 years. In the early years of last century the Cubs were one of the strongest teams in the competition, in fact they were the first team to win two championships and to be in three final series. Over the years they had many great teams and many winning years but they lost close matches and then came the "curse of the Billy goat".
It sounds a little strange to us but the curse seriously got inside the Cubs and their supporters minds. Just when they should win, something would happen that would lead to a loss. This culminated when a life long Cubs supporter (Steve Bartman) reached out to catch a fly ball from the stands touching the ball and denying a game winning catch to the Cubs fielder. The team then choked and lost! So incensed where the local fans that Bartman needed Police protection and had to try to live beneath the radar for a decade.
But all of that is ended now, the "curse" is lifted and 108 years is now no longer the longest non winning stretch in major sport.
Sport is looked upon as being a metaphor for life, why did these teams lose for so long, or why were they not able to win. They had the same or in some cases better teams and support than their opposition.
The answer would be that they, at crucial stages, lost track of what is important and why we play the game.
Sport is when all is said and done, entertainment. At the most basic level it entertains the participants and maybe their parents. At the top level it entertains billions worldwide. I remember a recent interview with a famous footballer who said when we asked about his immense salary "that he didn’t cure or teach people, he only kicked a ball but if someone wants to pay him millions then what was he to do?" What indeed!
To have a happy and fulfilled life we need to constantly remember what is important to us and to not become fixated on how things are "always going wrong" or not working out. Winners set their own goals and targets and don’t worry about what others say. Have a great week, Mike Brosnahan